is a doctor guilty of malpractice when he continues to treat for pneumonia and patient has lung cancer

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is a doctor guilty of malpractice when he continues to treat for pneumonia and patient has lung cancer

My wife of 46 years was diagnosed with
pneumonia after coughing up blood . The
doctor xrayed her on more than one
occasion. She was having continuing
weight loss and I was very concerned
but she ,although an RN , continued to
trust the Doctor. After having problems
for over a year a Nurse Practitioner in
the same office set up a CTScan and she
was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer
. She has since passed and I have
continued to second guess the Doctor’s
ability . She died in August of 2014
,could you please answer this question
when possible. Thanks

Asked on April 2, 2016 under Malpractice Law, Arkansas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The doctor may be guilty of malpractice. The issue is, under the facts as that doctor saw them at that time--the symptoms your wife complained of; her medical history; the X-rays; any other tests or measurements--the doctor's diagnosis was reasonable (that is, a reasonable doctor could have thought pneumonia) and similarly, whether it was reasonable to "stop" there or whether a reasoonable doctor would have ordered additional or different tests or scans. The law accepts that good doctors sometimes are wrong even when they did everything right--when that happens, it is not malpractice. Malpractice is when a doctor's actions or diagnosis is not reasonable--basically sloppy, careless, uninformed (a doctor did not keep up with medicine or recommendations in this area), etc.
Speak with a malpractice attorney NOW, before more time goes by--there is a relatively short time frame ("statute of limitations") for bringinging malpractice cases. The attorney can evaluate in detail the situation, advise you as to whether you have a case and, if you do, file it before much more time passes. Good luck.


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